To wash a hedgehog often is to keep it healthy. How often does your hedgehog get baths? You may not be washing your pet often enough, or even too often! The regularity of bath time really depends and varies per household.
Hedgehogs that frequent their wheel, go outside, or are just plain more active need baths more frequently. The feet and bottom side can get caked with dirt, bedding, mud, and more. The quills will retain pieces of bedding, grass, or dirt; just like how they retain smells. These types of pets require a bath every 3-5 days or so. Leaving caked on dirt and more could cause sores on the feet and legs, not to mention a bad smell.
Not every hedgehog is exploratory and messy. My pet sleeps often and cuddles with us a lot more than she does running around getting dirty. However, quills are good at holding smells in, and these hedgehogs still need to be bathed rather frequently. I bathe mine once every 5-7 days, unless she's been more active on her wheel or outside. (I also take this time to clean the cage, so that way I'm not placing my freshly cleaned pet into dirty and soiled bedding.)
Can you bathe a hedgehog too much? This is certainly possible. They naturally have flaky skin, this is why a proper bath is without soap. Most hedgies love their baths, and taking one is actually very fun. However, over-bathing could severely dry out a hedgehogs skin, so avoid bathing daily.
How long do I bathe the hedgehog for? A typical bath takes around 15 minutes. It only takes me about 5 minutes to wash my hedgie, then I let her play for 10 minutes or so. If they're having fun, overtime won't hurt your pet. Long bath times may cause drier skin for the hedgehog. A good trick I learned is to prevent flaky skin is to add a dash of coconut or olive oil to the bathtub. This is a great help for pet hedgehogs overall quality of skin post-bath and days after.
Learning how to bathe a hedgehog correctly is just as important as routine bath times. What's the point of having a bath schedule when your hedgehog isn't getting fully clean?
Staying consistent and keeping a good bath schedule promotes a friendly and sociable hedgie. (Not to mention that after bath-time they are just so cuddly! ) Setting a good bath schedule is crucial as it prevents mites, itchiness, quill loss, leg and foot sores, odors, and keeps your hedgehog looking sharp!
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